CITRUS AND OTHER PEST CONTROL

Citrus trees in Louisiana are usually covered with sucking insects throughout the growing season.  These might include scales, mealy bugs and whitefly.  These insects can be found on the undersides of the leaves.  Infested trees can be spotted from a distance by a blackish coloring of the foliage.  Air currents carry honeydew from the insects’ bodies around to the top of the leaves and elsewhere.  A sooty mold fungus grows on the honeydew, turning everything black.  Standard control practices involved frequent, regular application of insecticides to keep the insects down.  Some of these insecticides, particularly Malathion and methyl Parathion are particularly nasty nerve poisons.  The scale and whitefly have developed resistance, so the insecticide cocktail has to be changed often. Regular insecticide application is bad for honeybees and suppresses pollination and citrus honey production.  This also contributes to chemical buildups in the honeycomb.

Adrienne and baby Joseph in our citrus orchard. Notice that the fruit is free of soot and festooned on the tree branches.

Adrienne and baby Joseph in our citrus orchard. Notice that the fruit is free of soot and festooned on the tree branches.

By happy coincidence, I’ve discovered that my termite fungus will control all of these scales, mealy bugs and whitefly.  If dormant oil is added to the mix, some control of spider mites on leaves and fruit is also possible.  But, fungal spray treatments have strange effects:  right after spraying, whiteflies appear unharmed and scale insects show no damage.  It takes up to 2 weeks AFTER spraying to see the whitefly population finally wiped out.  But the effects of a fungal spray last for months.  We can get good control of citrus insects and clean fruit with as few as two timed applications per year!  Our fungus does not harm honeybees as we directly overspray hives located in the orange grove.  I have placed active culture INSIDE beehives with no harm observed.

A citrus insect of worldwide concern is the sharpshooter vector for CITRUS GREENING DISEASE.  This pest is also in the order Homoptera.  A crew from the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry scouted my orchards for this pest in 2005 and found it there, along with many other locations in south Louisiana.  A multi-million dollar chemical spray program followed in most orchards – except mine.  With only the use of our fungus in oil, there is no trace of greening disease in my orchards TO THIS DAY.  Unfortunately, chemical pesticide companies do not benefit from my program.  Money will not trickle down from them to the various state Ag. entities and you will not hear about this innovation anywhere else except in these web pages.  A nasty by-product of government chemical pesticide programs to control greening disease is the die-off of honeybees that attempt to pollinate the trees.  Systemic insecticides are used, which migrate in the sap stream to the nectar in the flowers.  Pollinating bees pick up the poison and carry it to the hives.  One can only wonder how this is affecting folks who drink orange juice!

In the New Orleans area, mist blower spraying of citrus and other plants with biologicals or labelled chemicals starts at $85.

Sago Palm Florida Pink Cycad Scale

Florida pink cycad scale in sago palm, often fatal, can be controlled with a single spray of “Pork’n’beans” mixed with safety oil.

Red Maple Occluded Scale

Occluded scale, shown as rough bark on the twigs and branches of this Red Maple can be controlled with a spray of “Pork’n’beans” + safety oil. Common pest of ash in Montana and Quaking aspen in Colorado.

Citrus fruit from my orchard ripens from November till February. I have thousands of pounds of fruit, Grapefruit, white, pink and red, Louisiana sweet oranges (for juicing), Satsuma’s, and Navels, Meyer lemons, Sour and Sweet kumquats.  Call us for pickup directly from the orchard in Algiers, or they can be shipped anywhere, in season for little more than the cost of shipping.

Call: 504-367-1160, or 504-259-2031

E-mail: adriantree@aol.com